Finally the 2007 Formula 1 season gets underway this Sunday at the Australian Grand Prix. I’m quite excited about it, seeing that seven time world champion Michael Schumacher will not be around to bore us any more with his domination. Not that I’m hating on Schumi, the man is a legend, probably even the greatest Formula 1 driver in history. But Formula 1 had become increasingly predictable and that took the excitement out of the sport. The teams have been shaken up, with two time world champion Fernando Alonso joining “my” team McLaren Mercedes, and Kimi Raikkonen moving over to Ferrari.

Fernando Alonso & Lewis Hamilton
Fernando Alonso & rookie driver Lewis Hamilton

To be honest, I’d rather have Kimi Raikkonen behind the wheel instead of Fernando Alonso. Ever since I was young I’ve always supported the number two guy, coz it shows that he’s got the potential to push the number one guy to his limits and eventually take away the top spot from him. I’ve never supported any person or team simply coz they’re at the top of their game. And most times I end up being proved right. When Maurice Greene was the fastest man on the planet, my main man was Tim Montgomery who later broke the 100m world record (and turned out to have been on performance enhancing drugs) I’ve supported Chelsea FC for nine years since the 1998-1999 season. And while Michael Schumacher reigned supreme in Formula 1 with Ferrari, I chose McLaren Mercedes. I only started watching F1 religiously like three years ago in South Africa when I used to wait up on Sunday nights till after midnight to watch the repeat of the race on national TV. Before that, I was a supporter in spirit.

Anyway, now that Fernando Alonso, the reigning world champion has joined McLaren Mercedes, there’s really not as much excitement about him winning it this time round. It’s basically expected. He’s the man to beat. On the other hand, Kimi has the hunger to squeeze out every ounce of skill to win that title. And I’m actually afraid that he just might do that this season if McLaren Mercedes don’t sort out their reliability issues.

Well I hope that with the launch of the MP4-22 car for this season, McLaren Mercedes will be able to shake away the reliability problems that let the team down so badly in the last couple of years.

McLaren Mercedes MP4-22
Isn’t this the best looking F1 car this season? Me thinks so.

Not a single Grand Prix victory in 2006? Shocking! But it would have also helped a great deal if Kimi showed up for work sober a bit more often. Seriously.

Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen

Trust Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone to flip the script every season with rather ridiculous rules and regulations (remember the one-set-of-tyres-per-race rule back in 2005? What was he thinking?) The old geezer is back with yet another one this season. He says that all teams should race with two sets of dry tyres per race, with one set of tyres being significantly faster than the second set to add unpredictability. (Have a look at the rule changes here)

I’m not down for this idea, coz supposing one driver has built up a significant lead over the next driver, then he pits and swops the faster set of tyres for the slower set, his lead will be cut down quite fast by the second driver. Ok well, the second guy will have to pit eventually and change to the slower set. But still, it fucks up everything. Anyway let’s just wait and see how things turn out during the race.

So it’s all systems go this weekend. Go McLaren!!